Monday, October 17, 2016

It Must Be Christmas:Three Holiday Stories,by Jennifer Crusie, Donna Alward, & Mandy Baxter

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250106377, October 2016

This is a collection of three Christmas stories, two of which I found delightful.

Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie has Trudy hunting down the year's hot Christmas toy for her nephew. His father promised him that Santa would get it for him, and then "forgot" when he took off with the nanny. Now Trudy is spending her Christmas eve tracking down the sold-out toy, while her sister is at home making gingerbread cookies and convincing little Leroy that Santa really will bring his toy.

When she finds the toy, she also stumbles into the arms of not one but two secret agents. Which one is the good guy? Is either? And will either one let her get this toy with the unexpected secret home to her nephew? It's a fun story, with a warm, funny, happy ending.

Christmas at Seashell Cottage, by Donna Alward, has Charlie Yang, who has essentially run away from her high-powered hospital career to be the second doctor in the local general practitioner's office in tiny Jewell Cove, becoming more drawn into the little community than she had planned. Handsome, former Navy SEAL Dave Ricker is a distraction, and it gets worse when they find an infant in the manger at the town's Nativity scene. She's Doomed, of course, in the delightful way any heroine in a Christmas romance is "doomed." She can just forget about that quiet, orderly, detached life. This was the one I enjoyed the most.

Christmas with the Billionaire by Mandy Baxter, has Chloe attending a society gathering to meet the one son of a recently deceased billionaire who might be ready to part with some of his newly-inherited wealth for the charity she runs. This one is not "sweet." I think the accepted terminology is "sensual," but in any case, too much, too explicit sex for my preferences. I will say, though, that if that's how your reading preferences go, the writing was good and the characters likable and interesting up to the point where I stopped reading.

Overall this is a nice little seasonal collection. Recommended, with appropriate caution to be aware of the content of Baxter's story, if that's not what you want to read.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.